7 Churches (literal seven churches) – 7 Completion (all the Church)
Big Picture We Are Going To See…
Jesus Knows Us
“‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.” Revelation 3:1a
Jesus Loves Us
“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” Revelation 3:19
Jesus Protects Us
Jesus Sends Us Out
JESUS COMMENDS HIS CHURCH
Ephesian Church –
“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary.” Revelation 2:2-3
Smyrna Church – enduring in the middle of persecution and death
Pergamum Church- Not denying the faith
Thyatira Church –
“‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first.” Revelation 2:19
“Because you have kept my word about patient endurance.” Revelation 3:10
Commends Churches for 2 Main Reasons:
1) Guarding Doctrine
2) Advancing the Name of Christ
“Middle of Satan’s Throne”
Antipas – killed proclaiming Jesus
“‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” Revelation 3:8
Advancing The Gospel In The Midst of Opposition Religious, Governmental, Social and Economic pressures to Deny Christ!
Trusting God In The Midst Of Testing
“Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10 (Smyrna)
For Loving God In the Midst Of Temptation
Jesus commended the few in Sardis who have not soiled their garment in the sin of the world!
JESUS REBUKES HIS CHURCH
WHY? For Compromise (In the Church)
“But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality.” Revelation 2:14
“But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.” Revelation 2:20
Clearly, there is a word here for us today. It is easy, Christian, to blend in with the world—in subtle, seemingly justifiable ways. It is alarmingly evident that the lifestyles of followers of Jesus Christ are often virtually indistinguishable from the lifestyles of our neighbors, and such compromise is tragic in the church.
For the Sake of Financial Gain: compromise with the materialism of this world may be the most serious sin in our church today.
For The Sake of Social Acceptance: isn’t this one of the primary reasons (if not the primary reason) why we do not actively share the gospel (the fear of man)?
Personal Safety: surely this is one of the reasons we sit back in comfort and ease while hundreds of millions of people starve and suffer spiritually and physically around the world.
WHY? For Complacency
Ephesus: Lack of Love
Laodicea: Luke Warm
Self-satisfaction and Self-sufficiency (they were rich)
JESUS COMMANDS HIS CHURCH
Ephesian Church and Sardis Jesus say: Remember who you are in Christ and what you heard from Christ!
Turn from your sin and trust Jesus! See the grace of Jesus in these letters – He hasn’t written any of them off! Warns them and tells them to repent!
JESUS WARNS THE CHURCH
“Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.”
“Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth.”
– Revelation 2:16
“Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.”
“Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.”
Christ Gives Warning About Falling Away – To Keep Us From Falling Away
By Grace Through Faith True Followers Will Persevere To The End!
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
–1 Peter 1:3-5
“But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”
“For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.”
What if we don’t endure? What about those who compromise, fall away, and don’t come back or are walking in disobedience?
“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.”
–1 John 1:19
There are many people—and there were some, maybe even many, in these seven churches—who were embracing false teaching and living in idolatry and immorality who would have claimed to be Christians. But even after these warnings, they would not repent, they would not listen, and in their rebellion they would show that they were not truly followers of Jesus in the first place.
So Christian, let Jesus’ warnings here be a wake up call to you to return to Him, to refuse to settle for compromise and complacency in your life in any way. And at the same time, if you profess to be a Christian, yet you refuse to repent and walk with him, be very concerned about your soul. I urge you, do not ignore his voice. Turn to him, either for the first time truly or return to him as his child and experience His reward.
JESUS REWARDS HIS CHURCH
Promise for Christ-followers who endure!
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’” (No Hell)
“The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.” (Name written in book of life)
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’”
Those that Endure: Eternal celebration in the presence of God!